MIT Scholar and Former White House Tech Adviser
R. David Edelman
About the Speaker
MIT scholar, Presidential advisor, and leading technologist R. David Edelman is one of the nation's foremost authorities on how new innovations are changing life and business around the globe. Dubbed the nation’s “Chief Cyber
Diplomat,” his insights on issues like artificial intelligence (A.I.), cybersecurity, data ethics, and the geopolitics of technology have shaped national and international policy at the highest levels.
Dr. Edelman served in the Bush and Obama Administrations, rising to become the youngest ever Director named to the U.S. National Security Council. As Special Assistant to the President, he led the White House economic team’s work on technology, media, and telecom policy. He currently teaches at MIT and leads its Project on Technology, the Economy, & National Security.
A soughtafter counselor to CEOs and Boards on managing technological disruption, Dr. Edelman has a unique ability to clearly communicate these complex topics, making them both accessible and engaging. His insights and
analysis have appeared in the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, WIRED, Forbes, Fortune, and on CNBC, MSNBC, and numerous international outlets.
At MIT, Dr. Edelman leads an interdisciplinary team of researchers, students, and policymakers to address the challenges created by technological disruption – from the international concern of cyberattacks to the economic and regulatory consequences of A.I. and autonomous vehicles. He holds joint appointments in the Computer Science & Artificial Intelligence Lab (CSAIL) and the Center for International Studies (CIS).
At the White House, Dr. Edelman led the development of and coauthored
over a dozen legislative proposals, national strategies, Executive Orders, and Presidential policy reviews. As Director for Cybersecurity and International
Cyber Policy at the National Security Council, he penned the government’s principal doctrine on cybersecurity and Internet issues within U.S. foreign policy.
As chief architect of the President’s ConnectED initiative, Edelman managed
the $10 billion effort that brought broadband to over 30 million American students in their classrooms. As Special Assistant to the President, he led White House engagement with top executives at over 100 companies in the technology, media, and telecom sectors and managed the Administration’s policy development on issues like net neutrality, consumer privacy, and patent reform.
Prior to his time at the White House, Edelman served at the State Department’s Office of Cyber Affairs, and as the United States’ lead negotiator on Internet issues at the United Nations, where he received the Department’s Superior Honor Award and twice received its Meritorious Honor Award. He was named one of Forbes’ “30 Under 30” leaders in Law & Policy.
He holds a B.A. from Yale University in History, and a Master’s and Doctorate in International Relations at Oxford University. His groundbreaking dissertation, “Cyberattacks in International Relations,” examined which forces might
restrain state use of cyberattacks.